Grand Master Flavio Behring 10th Anniversary Seminar!

Absolute Mixed Martial Arts and Grand Master Flavio Behring will be holding a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seminar in honor of their 10 year affiliation.

flavio 10 year

Professor Rob Handley started his school Absolute Mixed Martial Arts, in 2002 as a brown belt. The gym originated in West Valley, Utah with about 6 students in a garage that took a lot of hard work to make usable. The majority of his students had little to no experience in martial arts. Professor Handley’s experience, knowledge and teaching methodology allowed his students to progress quickly. In just one year, he produced a U.S. Open Jiu Jitsu champion and a Pan Am Jiu Jitsu champion.

It was during this first year that Professor Handley began bringing Grand Master (GM) Flavio Behring to his school to share in the knowledge and experience of this well respected Master. GM Flavio, seeing Professor Handley’s character as an individual and skill as teacher, appointed Professor Handley as the Head Coach of Behring USA. Behring USA has grown from one school in Utah to multiple schools in California, Montana and Arizona as well as Utah. Throughout the entire time, Professor Handley has continued to bring GM Flavio out for seminars once or twice a year to allow his students to learn and grow with one of the world’s leading Jiu Jitsu Masters.

The seminar, to be held on January 25th and 26th, will be hosted at Absolute MMA (1338 W. 7800 S.) and given by Grand Master Flavio, a 9th degree red belt. He will be sharing his 65 years of Jiu Jitsu experience with the attendees. He will be demonstrating Jiu Jitsu for self defense, sport and mixed martial art application. With over 6 decades of teaching, training and a career in no-holds-barred fighting, GM Flavio is supremely qualified to instruct people from beginners to expert.
For information about this event, please contact Absolute MMA at 801-255-1166 or visit our website We look forward to having you with us at this spectacular event.

Why Study Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

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There are many reasons to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Each of those that train have their own goals, their own reasons for doing so. There are however, some common themes among those that are attracted to Jiu Jitsu.

Fitness is one of the biggest reasons people come to Jiu Jitsu. Many people want to get in shape but are turned off by spending time on a treadmill or an elliptical machine. Some people want to stimulate their brain as they workout. They want to learn new skills and improve their fitness at the same time. Jiu Jitsu provides this, in spades. Each class offers the opportunity to learn a new skill, a new technique or improve on one you already know. Jiu Jitsu is so diverse in it’s application, movement, strategy, defense and offense that you can literally spend a lifetime training and still have more to learn. Practicing the techniques of Jiu Jitsu gives a person activities that require movement of your own body in different ways than we are used to. This challenges your flexibility and your range of motion. These movements stretch and move your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments which promotes increased blood flow and muscle growth. When you practice live “rolling” or sparring you challenge your cardiovascular system, as well as stressing your muscles and joints in a safe manner. The improvement in your cardiovascular fitness, your overall strength, flexibility and agility will surprise you.

Self defense is another common goal of Jiu Jitsu practitioners. Based on leverage and technique, Jiu Jitsu helps those who are not big and strong survive a physical encounter with a much higher rate of success. Developed by Helio Gracie at 130 lbs., he couldn’t overpower his opponents, he had to work around them. He found the best way to do this was by applying leverage to weaker areas of the body, the joints and the neck. In order to apply this leverage he needed to place himself in a position to do so. Just trying to muscle his opponent wasn’t going to work so he modified existing techniques from Judo and Japanese Jiu Jitsu in order to move around them and not through them. These techniques have been practiced, refined, modified and adjusted to be as effective as possible for all body types, strengths, flexibility levels.

The practice of Jiu Jitsu techniques gives you the ability to survive a physical encounter with a much higher degree of success. You learn through regular, consistent training several things about surviving. You learn what distance helps you not take damage or take the least amount of damage. You learn how to put yourself in a dominant position and maintain that position. You learn how to finish the fight with a submission if it presents itself. You learn that in a fight of any kind, things will always go wrong and that you can still survive. The most important of all of these skills is the ability to survive. This doesn’t mean you are learning to be a “cage fighter.” It means you are developing a skill set which will give you a greater chance of walking away from something we hope never happens.

The last goal, self confidence, is a result of the first two. As you become stronger, improve your endurance and become more proficient in this method of survival and control, you will naturally become more confident. Your self image will improve as you see the positive changes your body is going through. You will become comfortable in your skill; understanding that while not invincible, you have a skill set that specifically prepares you for withstanding an assault and greatly improves your likelihood of escaping with your life. You develop friendships that are real and based on all parties sharing the difficulty and success of training. As you train with these friends you share respect and experiences which bond you in ways that are difficult to find outside of this environment. Sharing the struggle to improve with these friends is not something that can be explained easily. Suffice it to say you earn and give respect with people you are proud to share this bond with.

Why train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Fitness, self defense and self confidence are the most common reasons. Choose your own. Find a reason to improve some area of your health and well being and give Jiu Jitsu a chance. You might find yourself getting more out of it than you expect. Who knows, you might even have some fun!

Your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class.

So you’re going to your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and you don’t know what to expect. That’s not uncommon, it’s new, it’s unfamiliar, it’s to be expected that you won’t know what to expect. We’re going to talk about a few things that, hopefully, will set your mind at ease.

Let’s talk a little about your motivations for going to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class in the first place. There are many reasons a person decides to take up BJJ. There are those of us who are looking for an unconventional (and highly effective) way to get or stay in shape. Maybe we live in a rough part of town and want to learn to defend ourselves. Perhaps you have the hopes and aspirations of being a cage fighter. There are many reasons and all are valid. There’s one underlying goal which ties them all together: Learning. We’re all there to learn. It should be our priority and if you ask anyone who’s practiced Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for any length of time, they’ll tell you it’s inevitable. You WILL learn regardless of whether you’re in the right mind-set or not. But it’s important, to get the most out of your experience, to be in the right mind-set.

You’ve made your way to the gym, it’s your first day, you have your Gi on… or maybe you don’t, that’s okay. Someone has shown you how to tie your belt and class is about to start. (If the students have not already introduced themselves to you, introduce yourself to them. They don’t bite). You get through the warm-ups, you’re already starting to sweat; breathe heavily and are wondering if you’re going to be able to make it.

“How do these guys bend their bodies this way? Did that guy just do a somersault??? I’ve never moved my body this way in my life! Who knew my head was this heavy?!”

The instructor begins to teach the technique(s) for the day. The instructor, in most cases, is a professor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; a black belt. In some cases the instructor may be a lower ranking belt designated by the Professor to teach for the day. In other cases a lower-than-black-belt instructor is all that’s available in the area. That’s okay, too. They will more than likely be able to teach you quite a bit. The instructor will demonstrate a few techniques and allow each of the students to practice them on each other in break-out sessions. They will bring the group back together occasionally adding details and perfecting the movements to complete the techniques. They will also be available to answer questions in-between instruction. Don’t be afraid to ask.

“What is an armbar? D’arce? Guillotine? Triangle Choke? Wait… Choke? No one said anything about chokes… I didn’t sign up for this!”

After the instructor… well… instructs, it’s time to put into practice what you know. (If this is your first class, then it is very little, if any. Which is okay). We call this “rolling”. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is unique in that we can practice our sport with 100% resistance from our opponent with a reasonable expectation of not getting hurt. Which is unlike boxing, or other striking arts where if you sparred with your partner at 100% someone is going to end up getting hurt. In a lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools, beginners don’t take part in “rolling” on their first day. A lot of times, they don’t even roll until they’ve learned the basics: Guard, Mount, Half-Guard, Back-mount, Side-mount, Half-mount; basic grips, holds, movements; submission defenses, etc.. It is always up to you to decide when you’re ready to jump in during rolling time. Don’t be afraid jump in and get going but don’t hesitate to say: “I’m not quite ready” if you don’t feel quite up to it.

First and foremost: Your training partners are not trying to hurt you. They’re there to learn just as much as you’re there to learn. If you do feel like your partner is trying to hurt you, tell someone. It’s likely they’re newer to the sport as well, and don’t realize they’re being potentially harmful. Your safety is important and you have the right to request a different, more experienced partner to train with if you feel your safety is at risk. Conversely, you are not there to hurt your partner either. It’s important to remember, especially when training with a more experienced partner, that they’re going to match your speed/intensity/strength/etc.. That is to say: they’re going to go just as hard as you… or just as light. If they feel that you’re trying to hurt them, they’re going to do something to prevent that and it will more than likely not end in your favor… which leads me to my next point.

You are going to get submitted. You will tap. You will say “uncle”. This is not a bad thing. It is, in fact, a good thing. You and your training partner are each working on different parts of your respective games. In this case your partner is working on their submissions and you are working on recognizing the submission and tapping early. Tapping early to inform your partner that the hold/lock/choke/etc. has been applied effectively and that you’re “submitting”. That’s right: Tapping. Early. Don’t try to see how long you can hold out before tapping. As soon as you recognize you may be in trouble, tap. Tap your hand, at least twice, on your partner’s body (anywhere). If you’re unable to move your hands, say: “tap” loud enough for your partner to hear. Sometimes we have to use our feet to tap, but those are rare cases. Tapping is something we should do a lot of and, as I said earlier, a good thing. Try to see every tap as an opportunity to learn. Learning happens on both ends: your partner learns what is and isn’t an effective way to apply that submission and you learn how to recognize the submission in order to avoid it next time. Whatever you take away from each tap is up to you. Whether it be “I’m not going to get submitted that way again”, or “What did I let happen in order for that submission to be applied?”. Take these questions to your instructor, ask that your partner repeat what just happened and break it down for you, then ask how you could have prevented it. What you take away from it will depend heavily on your mental attitude. “Man, I SUCK!”, “I can’t believe this LITTLE GUY is submitting me AGAIN”, or “I lift weights, I should be able to SMASH this guy!” will more than likely hinder your progress toward preventing it from happening again and learning Jiu Jitsu in general. That being said, if you are ever uncomfortable for any reason, tap. If you can’t breathe, tap. If you feel like you’re going to vomit, tap. If you’re panicking for any reason whatsoever, tap. Our training partners have been conditioned to stop whatever they’re doing and give us space to recover when they feel someone tap on them. There’s no wrong reason to tap.

Breathe! This cannot be emphasized enough. We need oxygen for our minds and muscles to work properly. If you’re not getting enough (because you’re holding your breath) then neither of the two will be working right. It’s easier said than done, we know. Try to be mindful of when you’re grunting and holding your breath when exerting yourself. It happens a lot when we try to push someone off of us or try an explosive move. We hold our breath and strain against whatever it is we’re trying to move (ourselves, someone else… or both!). Holding our breath while exerting ourselves can cause injury, let alone makes it significantly more difficult to accomplish the movement we’re attempting. Everyone who has never grappled, or doesn’t continue to grapple on a regular basis is out of shape for BJJ. There’s no two ways about it. You cannot be in shape for your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class before you get to your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. Expect to wear yourself out and prepare for it. You will sweat a LOT, especially if you’re wearing a Gi. Bring water. Drink water all day leading up to class. Be hydrated beforehand so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re in class. Sip water if you need to, to maintain your hydration, but you should already be hydrated by the time you get there.

While all of this is happening, while you’re sweating and breathing heavy, while you’re tapping and getting smashed, tossed, rolled-up, flipped and flopped, learning and having fun is of paramount importance. I’ve heard a Grand Master say: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong”. Have fun and learn. All the while accomplishing the goal you set out to attain. Whatever it may be.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a very dynamic and effective martial art, with some potentially harmful locks and holds. When practiced in a controlled and constructive environment it is 100% safe and can be applied without injury. Now, that’s not to say that accidents don’t happen. You run the risk of stubbing your toe every time you get up in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Understanding these risks is key to preventing them. Application of the things mentioned in this post can minimize risk, but that’s not to say there aren’t more things we can do to ensure our safety and the safety of our training partners. Use your head for more than just keeping your ears apart.

So, let’s recap:
No one is trying to hurt you. Don’t try to hurt them.
You will get submitted. Tap. Early.
Ask questions.
Drink water.
Have fun :)
Most importantly: Learn!!!

Once you get past your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, these things will get easier. Just take it one class at a time.

Jiu Jitsu Is For Everyone

I thought this video was a great example of the true spirit of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I believe that jiu jitsu really is for everyone, whether it is the competition oriented individual or someone trying to lose weight there is a niche within the gentle art for everyone. If such a high level black belt in Jiu Jitsu as Robson Moura is so humble and accepting of everyone I think we certainly can be as well.

Jiu Jitsu Progression

Jiu Jitsu Progression by Justin Mitterling

Much like in life, everyone progresses in jiu jitsu at different speeds. I have found that when training it is most beneficial to be goal oriented, this will enable you to measure yourself, so to speak, when training. For example: when I roll with my trainers I pretty much know that I’m going to tap to them, odds are that they will probably tap me several times within the round. So to measure myself I  say: “ok, they may arm lock me but I will defend the choke with everything I have”. This doesn’t mean I will give up the arm lock intentionally it simply means that choke defense is my number one priority. I find that I get less frustrated when I set little goals like this for myself. Even if I do get choked its certainly not the end of the world, I just work harder the rest of the round to defend my neck. Obviously your goals will vary depending on your jiu jitsu skill level and that of your training partner. As a relatively new jiu jitsu blue belt I often have goals to simply defend attacks from my more skilled training partners. When I roll with someone at or below my skill level my goals change to perhaps passing guard, attaining the mount position and submitting with a specific  submission. Being a very goal oriented person in general I find this is an effective remedy for the many frustrations that come with training in the gentle art (jiu jitsu). This may not work for everyone and really everyone has to find things that may work just for them.
Progression then within the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can only truly be accurate when you measure yourself and do not compare yourself to others. It is important to remember that everyone around you who trains regularly is improving as well. So measuring yourself against them really isn’t an accurate measure of your progress. It is like standing on an escalator 5 steps behind someone. If neither of you move, you will never catch up to them while on that escalator.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is so dynamic that people may progress in spurts in some areas and then flatline in other areas (at least this is the case with me). The key I believe to working through those tough times is simply consistency and patience with yourself. In addition I don’t think it is a bad idea  to take some time off the mats either (you can have to much of a good thing)  If you have a really rough training session and your feeling burned out take a few days or a week off. I find that this clears my mind and when I come back I am excited and ready to learn.

Maintaining that learning attitude is crucial in this sport. There really is no room for ego on in jiu jitsu. One experience I will never forget was when Grandmaster Flavio Behring (ninth degree red belt)was in town for a seminar and demonstrating a specific technique he turned to one of our trainers Pedro and said “you specialize in this type of sweep” to which  Pedro responded “no sir, I specialize in learning” (this coming from a 2nd degree black belt). If someone as skilled as Pedro can maintain such as an attitude it should be a breeze for the rest of us. Well now that I have rambled completely off topic I will end this post. I “progressed” from talking about progression to maintaining a humble attitude :)

Justin is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt under Rob Handley at Absolute MMA in Utah. He maintains his blog at

Salt Lake City | Mixed Martial Arts Gym Doesn’t Need Violence

We had an interesting event at Absolute MMA last Friday evening. We were about to start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class and had the front and back doors open as well as the warehouse door. There were two men in the alley behind the gym, walking around. This was a little unusual but nothing too out of the ordinary. We have the neighborhood kids come watch class often enough when the doors are open.

One of the men, quite drunk, decided to walk in and demand to teach our class for us. The instructor listened to the man and then let him know it was time for him to go. He argued for a minute about what he knew and could teach the class. The instructor had the class begin warm ups to take attention off the individual and persuaded him to leave as the students were already practicing. That seemed to be the end of the excitement.

The man decided to try again, demanding to use the cage to box his friend. When denied, he demanded to fight the instructor. The instructor stayed calm, didn’t engage the man and eventually the man left with the threat of police being called.

It would have been fairly easy for the instructor, a martial artist of over twenty years, to physically remove the drunk from the school. It would have been easy to find insult in the names and insults thrown at him and resort to violence. It would have been easy to rationalize. However, that is not the code of martial arts that we teach and follow at our gym. There was no actual threat. There was no need for self defense as the man did not put his hands on anyone or attempt to strike. Martial arts practice should teach us how to control ourselves, not others. If they decide to be rude, obnoxious, belligerent or even threatening, we can control our own actions. We can keep ourselves safe and not engage in fighting unless it is a real risk to our safety or that of our loved ones.

Marcio Corleta Seminar tonight at Absolute MMA

World Champion Jiu Jitsu fighter Marcio Corleta will be here tonight! $50.00 will allow you to train with a multiple time World Champion and Pan Am Champion! Marcio Corleta is a top level competitor and always leaves his heart and experience on the mat with us. His specialty is guard fighting and I’m sure he will be showing us high percentage techniques. Start time for the seminar is 6:00 pm tonight, June 5th and ends at 9:00 pm. The same for Wednesday, June 6th. The price is the same for one or both days. Come train with us and improve your Jiu Jitsu at Absolute MMA!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion to Teach at Absolute MMA

We just got word! Marcio Corleta, 4th degree black belt under Grand Master Flavio Behring, multiple time Mundial and Pan Am Champion and former Jiu Jitsu coach to Mirko Cro Cop, will be here this week! Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm he will be teaching Absolute MMA members Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques that he has perfected over many years of practice. The price is $50.00 for both days of instruction, Tuesday and Wednesday. This is a rare opportunity to train with a champion and competitor of this caliber. Marcio always gives from his experience and doesn’t hold back his knowledge. Don’t miss this chance to improve your Jiu Jitsu with a multiple time champion of the highest order!

Schedule Update for Kick Boxing, Muay Thai and Kettlebells.

We have made a few changes to the schedule about a month ago and want to make sure to get the word out again. The classes that have been affected are the Mixed Martial Arts classes on Tuesday and Thursday, Kick Boxing on Wednesday and Kettlebells on Saturday.

The 7:30 pm classes on Tuesday and Thursday have been changed from Mixed Martial Arts classes to Kick Boxing. These classes are usually taught by our Head Coach, Rob Handley. Rob Has studied Kick Boxing or Muay Thai for a very long time. He continues to train with top level Thai trainers like Sakasem, Ganyao Fairtex and Sangtiennoi. He has a wealth of experience and has a unique way of teaching which makes it easy to learn and then implement. All levels of experience are welcome.

Kick Boxing on Wednesday at 6:00 pm has been canceled. We will continue to have Takedown class at 6:00 pm which includes techniques from Judo and Wrestling. This class is also taught by Coach Rob. For those of you who don’t know, Rob is the 2003 Bronze medal winner in the National Judo Championships and the Gold medal winner in 2005. Rob’s approach to instruction allows the very advanced and the very beginner to grasp the technique easily and be able to use it in practice effectively within a short period of time.

Our Kettlebell class that was at 9:00 am has been moved to 10:00 am. Participation is growing and our students are seeing results from the hard work. This class uses the Sport Kettlebell format to improve overall strength, strength endurance, grip strength, cardiovascular endurance and joint range of motion. The class is technique based rather than strength based. This is a great way to learn a new skill set with resistance training and improve your overall fitness. Rob also teaches this class using the Fedorenko method. Rob is a Sport Coach and Master Fitness Trainer in the American Kettlebell Club organization.

Absolute MMA Doiminates MMA Fights with Jiu Jitsu!

Absolute MMA victory! Showdown Fights: Evolution proved to be a showcase for Absolute MMA fighters. Two of three fighters came home with a victory and all put on a good show.

William DaBell was the second fight of the evening. This was his debut fight in mixed martial arts. William was a bit nervous in the locker room but warmed up well and had a look of determination in his eye as he walked out to meet his opponent. The fight started out with each fighter looking for openings with jabs and crosses. William’s opponent took a shot and got a big double leg takedown but William popped right back to his feet, defended a guillotine choke and the fighters exchanges punches. The two circled a bit with jabs and body blows being exchanged. William was put up against the cage and after some good takedown defense, got lifted and driven to his back. The round ended with William covering against the last 10 seconds of punches form his opponent.

Round two opened with punches, William taking some to the head and a few uppercuts until he clinched and the two ended up on the ground with William in his opponent’s guard. William stood to pass the guard and got tripped up as his opponent grabbed both ankles to take him down. The position reversed, William defended punches and then applied Behring Jiu Jitsu self defense to finish the fight! As his opponent drove forward, forearm in his throat, William passed the arm to one side and applied an arm triangle. His opponent, busy defending the choke, could do nothing as William moved his hips out to the side until he had enough leverage to reverse the position and secure his victory in the mount, forcing his opponent to tap. Round two win via arm triangle! Congratulations, William!

Eduardo Rivera was fight number three on this card. Edurado fought a much taller opponent. Eduardo came out swinging and landed some early shots, pushing his opponent up against the cage. The two separated and clashed a few more times, each time Eduardo would land a few head shots. His opponent turned the tide quickly, however. Keeping Eduardo at distance he started to fire off punches which Eduardo was unable to respond to. Adding leg kicks to the barrage seemed to disorient Eduardo and he clinched with a body lock and went to the back to avoid damage. His opponent locked in a Kimura and took Eduardo to the ground. As Eduardo avoided the shoulder lock he fell into a straight arm lock which his opponent finished belly down, preventing Eduardo form anything but a tap to end the fight.

Denver Merrifield-Nirva came into this fight with a 3-1 record. His last fight was a loss and he was looking to get back on the winning side of things. Denver’s opponent had a 5-6 record and was looking to do the same. First round the two touched gloves and circled. Denver’s opponent threw a few punches with bad intention but didn’t land. The two clashed while standing a few times with both landing some hard crosses and hooks. Denver ended up eating a hook which knocked him off balance and forced him to put a hand on the ground to keep his feet. He was rushed but sprawled beautifully and forced the clinch as he put the other fighter into the fence. A few strikes and some knees later, Denver controlled his opponent’s legs and took him down, right up against the fence. His opponent scrambles and Denver takes his back, pulling him backwards. There is another scramble and the two get back to their feet, throwing punches as they separate. Denver catches a hard left on his forearm as he blocks and circles away. The next time the two go for punches, Denver drops his level and executes a beautiful double leg takedown. Denver’s opponent looks to roll and escape but ends up on knees and elbows eating punches under his arm to the face and to the side of the head. He takes a couple big shots as Denver passes his guard, rolls again and catches Denver in his half guard and eventually full guard. Denver wants none of it and stands up to throw punches with ill intent. Forced to defend against the barrage of strikes, the other fighter rolls again. This time Denver maintains top position as he continues to deliver devastating punches which force more movement from his adversary. Denver flows through side mount, knee on back, knee on stomach, half mount, back and mount again as his opponent desperately tries to get away from the constant hammering of elbow and fists. Denver sticks him in side mount, bouncing elbows off his head and sets up an arm bar. His opponent defends by grabbing two hands together and gets rewarded for his efforts with a crushing hammer fist to the face. Denver places the leg back over his opponents head and finished the arm bar with little trouble to secure a second round victory! Congratulations Denver!

We are proud of all our fighters! Congratulations on a great night!

Jiu Jitsu was the finishing factor in all Team Absolute fights that night but Muay Thai played an important role as did Wrestling.! Come train at Absolute MMA for all your MMA needs.